Jordan, Meadows ask DOJ to investigate Michael Cohen for perjury

Two of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE’s top Republican allies on Capitol Hill are asking the Justice Department to investigate Michael Cohen for perjury, accusing the onetime Trump attorney of making intentional false statements during his public testimony this week.

“Mr. Cohen’s testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Reform … was a spectacular and brazen attempt to knowing and willfully testify falsely and fictitiously to numerous material facts,” Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanWill Republicans continue to engage in willful blindness? How Democrats can avoid fatal flaws of their impeachment inquiry Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption MORE (R-Ohio) and Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMichelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award Sondland testimony looms over impeachment hearings this week Democrats seize on new evidence in first public impeachment hearing MORE (R-N.C.) wrote in a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr on Thursday. “His testimony included intentionally false statements designed to make himself look better on a national stage.”

In a six-page letter with more than 20 pages of exhibits, Jordan and Meadows suggested that Cohen made deliberate false statements over the course of his nearly seven hours of testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

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Some of his answers to lawmakers, they asserted, contradicted court filings made by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. Others were “immediately contradicted by witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the subject matter,” they wrote.

Cohen attorney and spokesman Lanny Davis accused Meadows and Jordan of misusing "the criminal justice system with the aura of pure partisanship.”

"Mr. Cohen testified truthfully before the House Oversight Committee. He took full responsibility for his guilty pleas. He also backed up much of his testimony with documents," Davis said in a statement, saying the move was made by "two pro-Trump Committee members" and calling it a "baseless criminal referral."

"In my opinion, it is a sad misuse of the criminal justice system with the aura of pure partisanship," Davis said.

The letter to Barr picks up on many of the themes that anchored Republican attacks of the onetime Trump loyalist during the explosive public hearing. It paints Cohen as a liar driven by self-interest and an unreliable witness.

Representatives for Cohen, who was testifying privately before the House Intelligence Committee at the time of the letter's release Thursday, were not immediately available to comment on the allegations.

In particular, the Republican lawmakers asked Barr to investigate whether Cohen lied when he testified that he never defrauded a bank, claiming that the statement contradicted his guilty plea.

They also suggested Cohen may have lied when he testified that he didn’t want to work in the White House, citing a court filing in which prosecutors said Cohen told friends he expected to be given a prominent role in the White House after Trump was elected president.

The Republican lawmakers also suggested Cohen may have lied when he said that he did not set up the Twitter account @WomenforCohen and when he testified that he did not have reportable contracts with foreign government entities.

Cohen tore into the president during his hours-long testimony Wednesday, describing Trump as a “racist” and a “conman” and detailing a pattern of nefarious and illegal behavior he said was carried out by his one-time boss.

The former lawyer also brought evidence to back up his claims, including a $35,000 check signed by Trump after he took office that he said proved Trump’s personal involvement in a scheme to silence women who alleged affairs with him before the 2016 election.

Cohen pleaded guilty to a slew of federal offenses last year, including tax evasion, a campaign finance violation and making false statements to Congress. On Wednesday, Cohen was decidedly apologetic, asserting that he was driven by a “blind loyalty” to Trump.

Democrats, generally, accepted Cohen’s testimony as truthful, however Republicans were far more suspicious of his credibility. Jordan, the committee's top Republican, repeatedly brought up Cohen's past crimes, specifically his false statements, during the hearing and suggested his remarks could not be trusted.

“Mr. Cohen’s prior conviction for lying to Congress merits a heightened suspicion that he has yet again testify falsely before Congress," Jordan and Meadows wrote to Barr on Thursday.

Updated: 2:34 p.m.